Temple profs blast HBO's 'Confederate'

Two Temple University professors have sharply criticized the upcoming HBO series Confederate, with one declaring that “some things should be censored.”

Confederate, an alternate history series created by the producers of Game of Thrones which shows modern day repercussions of the South successfully succeeding, has encountered increasing backlash. The “#NoConfederate” hashtag even trended at number one on Twitter in the United States during a recent episode of Game of Thrones, which also airs on HBO.

Professor Molefi K. Asante, who chairs the Department of African American Studies, told Philly.com that Confederate is an “abuse of artistic license,” adding that “[s]ome things should be censored.”

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His colleague, Assistant Professor of Religion Nyasha Junior, said it was “disappointing that HBO would spend this kind of time and energy on a show created by two white men to indulge in this fantasy of modern-day enslavement.”

Two of the show’s executive producers and members of the writing team, Malcolm and Nichelle Tramble Spellman, are black.

Asante echoed Junior’s statements, arguing that “it’s not morally correct, it’s not ethically correct, and it’s not historically correct.”

Junior argued that the Confederate is an example of “retrenchment,” and backlash resulting from the Obama Administration.

Asante agreed, declaring that Confederate is an “attempt to negate the historical reality and [that] it’s an attempt to appeal to the masses of people who voted for [Donald] Trump.”

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Campus Reform inquired about Asante’s views on censorship and the connection between Confederate and Trump voters, but Asante did not “see any productive discourse with Campus Reform.” Junior did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

HBO said in a statement that it has “great respect for the dialogue and concern being expressed around Confederate,” and urged viewers to “reserve judgement until there is something to see” given that Confederate is a project still in its “infancy.”

When asked about the comments made by Junior and Asante, Temple University spokesman Hillel Hoffman told Campus Reform that “Temple faculty members frequently join the national discussion on a wide variety of subjects in the media and other public outlets. They are free to engage those issues in public as they wish.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @mstein81